Norton Museum of Art 2024 Gala Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

Norton Museum of Art 2024 Gala Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 17. Mercedes Bedroom, Havana.

Michael Eastman

Mercedes Bedroom, Havana

Lot Closed

February 5, 08:17 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot Details


Michael Eastman

b. 1947

Mercedes Bedroom, Havana

Executed in 2002.

Artist's label on the reverse

Chromogenic color photograph

From edition of 7

50 x 63 in. (127 x 160.2 cm)

Please note that while this auction is hosted on, it is being administered by the Norton Museum of Art (the “Norton”), and all post-sale matters (inclusive of invoicing and property pickup/shipment) will be handled by the Norton. As such, Sotheby’s will share the contact details for the winning bidders with the Norton so that they may be in touch directly post-sale.

Courtesy of the Artist and Holden Luntz Gallery

Michael Eastman has established himself as one of the world’s leading contemporary photographers. A fine art artist from St. Louis, Eastman has spent five decades documenting interiors and facades in cities as diverse as Havana, Paris, Rome, and New Orleans, producing large-scale photographs unified by their visual precision, monumentality, and painterly use of color. Eastman is recognized for his explorations of architectural forms and the patinas the passage of time give structures, creating mysterious narratives about time and place.

As a self-taught photographer, Michael Eastman is a seeker and explorer. For the past five decades, he has captured many subjects ranging from landscapes, architecture, and horses to abstraction. Through his art practice, Eastman dives into his subjects with mastery, drawing attention to the myriad details in each picture. In one series, an interior room with dilapidated walls and empty chairs references the glory of Havana’s faded elite. In another, the hand-painted lettering used in mid-century shops and businesses’ facades recalls the burgeoning vitality of America’s now abandoned main street.

Throughout his work, Eastman’s photographs of varied structures showcase the effects of time on gran-diose and unassuming architecture alike, presenting portraits of buildings loyal to all of the organic im-perfections caused by use and the passage of time. His photography emphasizes a sense of quiet admi-ration and unapologetic sincerity through painterly technique and masterful compositions. His pictures present structures that act as stages for political, social, and cultural interaction, with untold stories still echoing within their walls. In each photograph, Eastman provides an abundance of detail while inserting an element of imagined history. His work is ultimately a study in profound observation. The moments Eastman captures are part of a larger story, some that we could never really know in their entirety. His photographs speak to a narrative beyond the frame. That narrative concerns history and time as a metaphor for a human presence.

Some of Michael Eastman’s work ranges between creative vision and nostalgia, also displaying his preferential use of saturated color. Eastman’s photographs suggest a meeting ground for imagination and reality, where the path between history and the present becomes a poetic visual record. Whether capturing a concealed doorway in a Buenos Aires palace, creating unique cyanotype prints from foliage, or presenting the many empty chairs, facades, doorways, mirrors, and interiors as the protagonists of his photos, Michael Eastman’s photographs are captivating in both their subtlety and their boldness.

Eastman’s pictures have appeared in major magazines such as Time, Life, Art in America, Art News, Art Forum, Communication Arts, and American Photographer. His books include Havana (2011, Prestel), Vanishing America (2008, Rizzoli), and Horses (2003, Knopf). Michael is still as busy as ever, and most recently exhibited at La Toletta Spazioventi in Venice, Italy. This year (2024) he will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first trip to Cuba.